Neck lift surgery is much more than showing up the day for surgery. Preparation involves ensuring you are in your best health possible and that your home is prepared once it’s time to recover.

Two Weeks Before Neck Lift Surgery

You and your surgeon will discuss any medications and supplements you are taking prior to surgery. Of special interest will be any medications you may be taking that have a blood-thinning effect. Examples include a daily aspirin or Coumadin. Because these medications increase your risk for post-operative bleeding, your surgeon may work with your prescribing physician to reduce or stop your dosage until after your surgery.

If you smoke, your surgeon will likely recommend stopping smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. This step is vital to improving your healing time after surgery and could be the opportunity you need to quit smoking for good. In addition to quitting smoking in the weeks before surgery, you should also quit for at least two weeks afterward for the best results possible.

Nutrition leading up to surgery will be important. Protein is vital to skin healing post-surgery. Aim to eat about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of your body weight.

You will want to put your work request in for some time off. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate amount of time for you to request. Typically this will be around one week.

The Day Before Neck Lift Surgery

The day prior to surgery should be spent preparing your or a loved one’s home for your recovery. Think about what will make you comfortable as you recover. Some examples may include:

  • Antibacterial ointment to cover incision sites
  • Cell phone charger, books, magazines and any other items to keep you comfortable and entertained as you rest
  • Comfortable clothing, such as a bathrobe, button-down shirts and pajama pants
  • Ice packs
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Pillows and towels
  • Slip-on, non-skid shoes that can be easily taken on and off
  • Soft foods that are easy to eat, such as broth, gelatin and pudding to minimize chewing
  • Thermometer

Your physician will likely recommend you cease eating after midnight the night prior to your surgery. This can minimize the risks for nausea and anesthesia reactions following surgery. You will also want to confirm with the person who will be driving you to and from the surgery center. This person should stay with you for at least 24 hours following surgery. While you may feel anxious and excited, do not neglect sleep. A good night’s rest will help you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Recovery After Neck Lift Surgery

After surgery, you will recover from the anesthesia and your surgeon will visit you prior to discharge, giving you and your loved one time to ask any questions and obtain any additional information. Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medication that can be filled as you leave the surgery center.

Upon returning home, you can expect a certain degree of discomfort, swelling and pain post-surgery. However, if the pain is extreme or unbearable, notify your physician. Other symptoms you may need to notify your physician about include:

  • Fever
  • White pus or drainage from your incision site
  • Excessive bleeding or bleeding that does not cease over time
  • Any signs of allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, hives, wheezing or rash

These symptoms are signs of infection. See your physician immediately if you experience them to minimize the risk for worsening infection.

Expected Neck Lift Surgery Recovery Time

You can expect to return to work in 10 to 14 days following surgery. Your swelling and bruising should subside with time. However, you are not typically cleared to return to physical activity until three weeks, possibly longer. This is because physical activity can affect your surgical incisions and lengthen your healing time. Talk to your physician about the appropriate amount of time to wait before returning to your typical physical activities.